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post #1 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I think that subject covers it all. Hopefully I can get some straighforward answers.

I have an Onkyo SR605 receiver. It is capable of most formats of audio decoding. I would connect it via HDMI to a Blue Ray Player. I have some questions.

1. If I have the option on the player to output PCM or Bitstream, what do I choose? Which is best? I see on one player you can further choose Bitsream Reencode where it coverts the PCM output to DTS or Bitsream Audiophile where it only outputs the main audio soundtrack and the receiver then does the conversion whereas on the PCM the player decodes primary and secondary to PCM audio. I am way confused on this one. Seems to me to go with Audiophile, but at the same time that one ignores any secondary audio tracks. Help?

2. What is Divx (R) and why would I have to register a player to use it? I know, not audio related, but I know someone can explain this.

3. In my receiver manual there is a chart. It shows all the listening modes available based on the source format. Then it shows like Multichannel and stuff like */2 and except */2, 2ch and 1/0, 1+1. What the heck is that all about? I get the idea that say if you have a True HD source, then the reciever can support stereo and True HD. For Dolby Digital Plus it can support a whole bunch others including PLII and Neo:6, etc. It all depends if you have a 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 setup. I get that. But what's with all of the symbols?

Am I reading too much into this? My hearing is shot anyhow. ;-)
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post #2 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 12:55 PM
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1. These settings are different per player. What BD player model?
2. Divx (R) is a Video on Demand service via the internet. You have to pay that is why you have to register.
3. There are two things at work here. Decoding and then Post Processing. The chart is showing which input audio types that post processing is available on. Post processing can do things like take 5.1 and output as effective 6.1 / 7.1
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post #3 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Samsung BD-C6500.

Okay, so I registered my player, am I paying now? Not sure how that works. What is the norm?

I follow you on that last one. What is the */2 and except */2, 2ch and 1/0, 1+1 all about?
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post #4 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 01:33 PM
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Looking at the BD Player manual now. It looks like...
PCM -vs- bitstream is for HDMI and allows you to decide if the player is decoding or not, if the player does not decode it looks like you loose the ability for the secondary audio track.

The re-encode looked like it pertained to getting legacy multi-channel encode including secondary audio program via the digital optical audio out.

I just skimmed it so don't shoot me if I did not quite grasp it right.



What page is the chart on in the AVR manual? I will see if I can find it online and interpret what it is all about.

On your internet connect player? There should be a way to browse the Divx(R) VOD service if your registered with the VOD website. You can purchase and play offerings it would seem.
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post #5 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNnDENVER View Post

Looking at the BD Player manual now. It looks like...
PCM -vs- bitstream is for HDMI and allows you to decide if the player is decoding or not, if the player does not decode it looks like you loose the ability for the secondary audio track.

The re-encode looked like it pertained to getting legacy multi-channel encode including secondary audio program via the digital optical audio out.

I just skimmed it so don't shoot me if I did not quite grasp it right.



What page is the chart on in the AVR manual? I will see if I can find it online and interpret what it is all about.

On your internet connect player? There should be a way to browse the Divx(R) VOD service if your registered with the VOD website. You can purchase and play offerings it would seem.


I do appreciate the help. My receiver can decode anything. However, the chart shows the output as 7.1 PCM for all formats if I choose PCM. Wouldn't I want to choose bitstream audiophile because I can then use the receiver to decode to Dolby and all that or is PC< the better stream anyhow and then the receiver can translate it to True HD or whatever? I am not an expert as you can see, just wondering how I get the most out of my components.

The page is 62-65 in the Onkyo manual.

Hmm, DivX I have no clue. I registered the device, that's all. Page 38 in the manual. Now what am I registering? I thought DivX is for one thing a VOD service. So, if I register I should be able to access DivX content and if so where?

Scratching my head.
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post #6 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 01:54 PM
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On the PCM -vs- bitstream it isnot so clear cut. The audio should be identical. Your AVR's processing capabilities may limit it some when decoding lossless encoded audio.

Many AVR's can't apply to auto calibration when decoding lossless, but can if it recieves already decoded multi-channel PCM.

Many AVR's restrict post processing abilites as well when decoding lossless encoded audio and will allow more to be done when recieving multi-channel pcm.

This is on top and in addition to restrctions in the player regarding secondary audio.
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post #7 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNnDENVER View Post

On the PCM -vs- bitstream it isnot so clear cut. The audio should be identical. Your AVR's processing capabilities may limit it some when decoding lossless encoded audio.

Many AVR's can't apply to auto calibration when decoding lossless, but can if it recieves already decoded multi-channel PCM.

Many AVR's restrict post processing abilites as well when decoding lossless encoded audio and will allow more to be done when recieving multi-channel pcm.

This is on top and in addition to restrctions in the player regarding secondary audio.

The Onkyo TX-SR605 uses (1) TI DA708 DSP processor and only has 240 MIPs, therefore it is severely limited when running HD audio codecs especially DTS Master Audio (loss-less) tracks @ 96kHz. The bass manager and Audyssey 2EQ use quite abit of the DSP's resources leaving little for HD audio decoding and post-processing such as DPL2x (5.1 > 7.1). Dolby True Audio (loss-less) has less overhead so it will run without as many limitations.

Just my $0.01..
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post #8 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 03:15 PM
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It will probably be tomorrow before I can look at the chart.

But, M code summed up well what I was attmepting to explain on the matter.
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post #9 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
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So, in english (ha ha) what should I do? What about the formats and DivX question? I know, pateince...
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post #10 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 03:19 PM
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I don't use the player your using. I'm not sure how the VOD service works. That is best posted in the dedicated thread for your player in the Blu-ray players section on these forums.
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post #11 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringfinger View Post

So, in english (ha ha) what should I do? What about the formats and DivX question? I know, pateince...

The 605 is now 3 years old and simply underpowered in the audio DSP department for HD audio decoding of DTS Master Audio. Therefore, set the Blu-ray player for multi-channel PCM output..

Just my $0.01..
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post #12 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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When I do, my receiver reads PCM 7.1 and I cannot change it on my receiver.

I'll wait for the chart review, I really do appreciate all of the help.
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post #13 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 04:17 PM
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Decoding merely unzips a file that was compressed to save space, turning it back into PCM. It does not matter whether the decoding happens in the player or the receiver. The PCM will be the same either way.

However, decoding is just the start of the process of turning digital data into sound. Once the encoded data is turned back into PCM, the processor does other tasks - bass management, distance/timing adjustments, EQ, and the application of DSPs such as PLIIx to matrix 5.1 sources to 7.1. Some receivers (including yours) lack the processing power to decode lossless and do all of the other post-decoding functions.

That's why there's no one, simple answer to the question of whether it is better to decode in the player or bitstream to a receiver for decoding. The answer depends on the capabilities of each player and receiver and on what post-decoding functions you want to perform.

There's one other factor with lossless. If you want to hear secondary audio (menu sound effects and PIP commentary tracks), you must decode in the player. Bitstream only sends the feature soundtrack to the receiver for processing. Secondary audio is not part of the feature soundtrack. In order to hear secondary audio, the feature soundtrack has to be decoded and run through a mixer, where the secondary audio is added in. That has to happen in the player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringfinger View Post

I see on one player you can further choose Bitsream Reencode where it coverts the PCM output to DTS or Bitsream Audiophile where it only outputs the main audio soundtrack and the receiver then does the conversion whereas on the PCM the player decodes primary and secondary to PCM audio. I am way confused on this one. Seems to me to go with Audiophile, but at the same time that one ignores any secondary audio tracks.

Re-encode turns lossless TrueHD or dts-MA into lossy DTS. The player decodes the track, mixes in secondary audio, and re-encodes the mixed output as lossy DTS. That's fine for people using optical connections, which don't support lossless audio anyway. But, audiophile is the way to go for lossless bitstream over HDMI. With Samsung players, the PCM setting actually gives you the best output - lossless decoding with secondary audio.
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post #14 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Decoding merely unzips a file that was compressed to save space, turning it back into PCM. It does not matter whether the decoding happens in the player or the receiver. The PCM will be the same either way.

However, decoding is just the start of the process of turning digital data into sound. Once the encoded data is turned back into PCM, the processor does other tasks - bass management, distance/timing adjustments, EQ, and the application of DSPs such as PLIIx to matrix 5.1 sources to 7.1. Some receivers (including yours) lack the processing power to decode lossless and do all of the other post-decoding functions.

That's why there's no one, simple answer to the question of whether it is better to decode in the player or bitstream to a receiver for decoding. The answer depends on the capabilities of each player and receiver and on what post-decoding functions you want to perform.

There's one other factor with lossless. If you want to hear secondary audio (menu sound effects and PIP commentary tracks), you must decode in the player. Bitstream only sends the feature soundtrack to the receiver for processing. Secondary audio is not part of the feature soundtrack. In order to hear secondary audio, the feature soundtrack has to be decoded and run through a mixer, where the secondary audio is added in. That has to happen in the player.

Re-encode turns lossless TrueHD or dts-MA into lossy DTS. That's fine for people using optical connections, which don't support lossless audio anyway. But, audiophile is the way to go for lossless bitstream over HDMI. With Samsung players, the PCM setting gives you the best output - lossless decoding with secondary audio.

Keep in mind..
Within the AVR's audio DSP processor, multi-channel PCM uses significantly less MIPs and memory resources rather than doing the audio decoding from a native encoded DTS Master HD bitstream..

Just my $0.01..
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post #15 of 35 Old 03-09-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Keep in mind..
Within the AVR's audio DSP processor, multi-channel PCM uses significantly less MIPs and memory resources rather than doing the audio decoding from a native encoded DTS Master HD bitstream..

Just my $0.01..

Yes. I'm not sure why you mention that though.
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post #16 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I tried a disk last night, it was Twilight (for my 12 yo daughter). The audio track was DTD-HD Master 5.1 Channel. Wish it had more to experiment with, but alas that was what I had to work with.

I had the audio on the BD set to PCM. It output the signal as 7.1 Multichannel PCM. I could not choose anything else (meaning post processing setting or listening mode so to say) on the receiver except stereo or the 7.1 Multichannel PCM. Seemed to read 48KHz if that means anything. Which, according to that daunting chart I mentioned yesterday regarding my AVR, I can only take a 7.1 Multichannel PCM stream and listen in Stereo or Multichannel, so that makes sense.


When I changed the setting on the BD to Bitstream Audiophile, it showed up on my receiver as receiving a DTS-HD Master signal, 48KHz. All the lights went on on the receiver induicating this and the post processing (setting that I listen to the sound in) was DTS-HD Master 5.1. I could choose others as well if I wanted to. According to the manual on the AVR, and the chart I mentioned, I can listen to that in Stereo and DTS-HD Master audio, so, that makes sense.

Seems to me that I had more choices with the Bitsream signal. Seemed the PCM gave me no choices to change in around.

Okay, now with that simplistic explanation, what is going one here? I understand better I think, and I almost get the chart, still don't know what */2, except */2, 1/0 and 1+1 mean, but can't figure out what's going to be best here.
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post #17 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringfinger View Post

I tried a disk last night, it was Twilight (for my 12 yo daughter). The audio track was DTD-HD Master 5.1 Channel. Wish it had more to experiment with, but alas that was what I had to work with.

I had the audio on the BD set to PCM. It output the signal as 7.1 Multichannel PCM. I could not choose anything else (meaning post processing setting or listening mode so to say) on the receiver except stereo or the 7.1 Multichannel PCM.

A 5.1 source decoded by the player should not be output as 7.1. Is there actually sound in the rear channels?

I have not read the C6500 manual. Does it have any processing modes that produce 7.1 outputs from 5.1 sources? Panasonic, Pioneer, and Oppo players have dts-HD Master Audio Essential decoders which use channel duplication to produce 7.1 from DTS 5.1 source tracks on Blu-ray. Dolby and PCM sources are output as 5.1. Previous generations of Samsung players had fully functional DTS-HD decoders which output 5.1 as 5.1. But, perhaps that changed with the C6500.

(EDIT: The manual does not mention dts-HD Master Audio Essential decoding. However, it has DTS Neo:6 processing as an option. See p36. The manual says Neo:6 can be used to generate multichannel PCM from stereo sources. But, perhaps it also works on 5.1 sources to create rear channel audio. That's how Neo:6 processing works in receivers. I suggest you turn that setting to Off and see whether it makes a difference.)

As a test, leave the player set to PCM and try a regular DVD and see what kind of output you get. DVDs do not have 7.1 soundtracks. Or, try a Blu-ray with a 5.1 TrueHD or PCM track.
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post #18 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Yes. I'm not sure why you mention that though.

Because when the AVR is handling multi-channel PCM it is an easier load on its DSP audio processor. Certain AVRs (such as the 605) are designed to automatically to eliminate certain processing features such as bass manager, Room EQ and DPL2X post-processing and the DSP steps down the sampling rate so at least the encoded stream can be decoded. Again as previously mentioned the issue is DTS Master Audio when the sampling rates (> 48kHz) and channels(>5.1) are maxed..

Just my $0.01..
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post #19 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Because when the AVR is handling multi-channel PCM it is an easier load on its DSP audio processor. Certain AVRs (such as the 605) are designed to automatically to eliminate certain processing features such as bass manager, Room EQ and DPL2X post-processing and the DSP steps down the sampling rate so at least the encoded stream can be decoded. Again as previously mentioned the issue is DTS Master Audio when the sampling rates (> 48kHz) and channels(>5.1) are maxed..

Just my $0.01..

I asked because that's what my post said as did yours and others.
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post #20 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I need to do this from home so I can see exactly what is going on.

I think I get it now, correct me if I am wrong:

1. For BD, generally it will be DTS or True HD. If I let the player decode, it will send a PCM stream to my receiver. That is a pure stream, like it was meant to be heard, no fancy changes. No better stream to get.

2. If I take that same BD and have the reciever process it, I can get the same result but it can tax the receiver possibly. All the lights come on the receiver, but basically I am outputting the same sound as in #1.

3. For regular DVD's with say a Dolby 5.1 track, what do I get as output in scenario #1? A 5.1 PCM stream?

4. How does a 5.1 PCM stream to a receiver differ from a Dolby 5.1 stream to a receiver where then a receiver has to decode? They are the same, except the BD is doing all the work and they both will sound the same, correct? However, with my receiver, I can then take that 5.1 and matrix it to 7.1 using Neo 6 or some processing that the receiver can do for me.

Bottom line, regardless of the receiver doing it or the BD player doing it, what sound comes out is the same (take away the secondary track mentioned)? Now, I only have a 5.1 setup, so if the BD sends a 7.1 signal, what will the receiver do? Ha ha, a new twist.
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post #21 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringfinger View Post

I need to do this from home so I can see exactly what is going on.

I think I get it now, correct me if I am wrong:

1. For BD, generally it will be DTS or True HD. If I let the player decode, it will send a PCM stream to my receiver. That is a pure stream, like it was meant to be heard, no fancy changes. No better stream to get.

Yes, although it's dts-MA, not DTS. DTS is lossy compression, the same kind that is used on DVDs. dts-MA (Master Audio) is lossless compression, which produces what you call "a pure stream".

Quote:


2. If I take that same BD and have the reciever process it, I can get the same result but it can tax the receiver possibly. All the lights come on the receiver, but basically I am outputting the same sound as in #1.

As I explained in your other thread, , lossless decoding produces the same PCM no matter where it is done. Decoding in the player and the receiver produce the exact same output.

Quote:


3. For regular DVD's with say a Dolby 5.1 track, what do I get as output in scenario #1? A 5.1 PCM stream?

DD 5.1 and DTS are both lossy compression schemes, meaning some of the data removed during compression is not restored during decompression. Some of the data is "lost" and the resulting PCM is not an exact match of the original PCM. But, it still doesn't matter where you decode. You lose the same data when decoding in the player or the receiver.

Quote:


4. How does a 5.1 PCM stream to a receiver differ from a Dolby 5.1 stream to a receiver where then a receiver has to decode?

A 5.1 PCM stream is the source data. DD 5.1 compresses the source PCM by upwards of 10-to-1. When decoded, some of the original PCM is not restored.

Quote:


They are the same, except the BD is doing all the work and they both will sound the same, correct?

So, no, they are not the same. A lossy output is never going to be the same as the original PCM.

Quote:


However, with my receiver, I can then take that 5.1 and matrix it to 7.1 using Neo 6 or some processing that the receiver can do for me.

Your receiver can decode DD 5.1 and do matrix processing as well. You run into problems with decoding lossless dts-MA, which takes a lot more processing power than decoding lossy DD 5.1.

Quote:


Bottom line, regardless of the receiver doing it or the BD player doing it, what sound comes out is the same (take away the secondary track mentioned)?

Yes, except for the limits I mentioned when it comes to processing the PCM after decoding dts-MA.

Quote:


Now, I only have a 5.1 setup, so if the BD sends a 7.1 signal, what will the receiver do? Ha ha, a new twist.

It downmixes to 5.1. The receiver knows that you only have a 5.1 system because that's how you configured your AVR. So, it takes the audio for the rear channels and folds it into the surrounds and adjusts the surround volume so that it comes out sounding right.
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post #22 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringfinger View Post

ack mentioned)? Now, I only have a 5.1 setup, so if the BD sends a 7.1 signal, what will the receiver do? Ha ha, a new twist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

It downmixes to 5.1. The receiver knows that you only have a 5.1 system because that's how you configured your AVR. So, it takes the audio for the rear channels and folds it into the surrounds and adjusts the surround volume so that it comes out sounding right.

BIslander,

That is what I thought too, but now I am not sure. I know downmixing will occur in the DTS/DD decoders as that is part of their processing for a bitstream input. I'm not sure about about a 7.1 LPCM input though.

I asked that same question (although my system is 7.1) in another thread (sorry, can't remember what it was), and was told the the back surround channels would be lost in the case of a 7.1 LPCM signal input to a 5.1 AVR. It almost makes sense considering that you have 7.1 discrete PCM streams and only 5.1 channels to accomodate them. I don't know what/where 7.1 channels would be downmixed to 5.1 in the AVR. If you have a solid source that explains how this works, I would be interested in reading it.
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post #23 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 02:42 PM
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Sorry. I actually gave ringfinger a more precise response in the other thread he opened on this subject in the BD Players forum. I believe the downmixing of encoded 7.1 sources occurs in the player, not the receiver, using instructions in the metadata. It is not clear to me how, or even if, downmixing occurs with a 7.1 PCM source such as 3:10 to Yuma.
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post #24 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Sorry. I actually gave ringfinger a more precise response in the other thread he opened on this subject in the BD Players forum. I believe the downmixing of encoded 7.1 sources occurs in the player, not the receiver, using instructions in the metadata. It is not clear to me how, or even if, downmixing occurs with a 7.1 PCM source such as 3:10 to Yuma.

I'll look in the BD player thread.

I don't know how the player would know that the AVR was 5.1 only. I don't think the BD35 has anyway to tell the player how many channels he AVR has.

3:10 to Yuma was the BD referenced when I asked what 7.1 LPCM BDs were out there.
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post #25 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 04:47 PM
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I have the Onkyo 605 as well, so are you guys saying its better to let the bluray player to decode dts-hd rather than the receiver?
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post #26 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

I don't know how the player would know that the AVR was 5.1 only. I don't think the BD35 has anyway to tell the player how many channels he AVR has.

I think the AVR tells the player how many channels it supports in the HDMI handshake. That's easy enough to test, I suppose. Configure a receiver for stereo only and then decode a multichannel track in the player for PCM output over HDMI. It'll be pretty clear if you are only getting the L/R outputs from the 5.1 source instead of a stereo downmix.
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post #27 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 05:39 PM
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I have the Onkyo 605 as well, so are you guys saying its better to let the bluray player to decode dts-hd rather than the receiver?

In many cases, yes. If you have a 7.1 system and want to use PLIIx to matrix audio to the rear speakers, player decoding makes that possible. The same goes for Audyssey room correction. It works with PCM but not when the AVR has to do lossless decoding.
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post #28 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all of the help. I understand fully, at least what you tell me ha ha. I will let the player do it's work and enjoy my 5,1 chaneel pure PCM stream as I like to call it!!
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post #29 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

I think the AVR tells the player how many channels it supports in the HDMI handshake. That's easy enough to test, I suppose. Configure a receiver for stereo only and then decode a multichannel track in the player for PCM output over HDMI. It'll be pretty clear if you are only getting the L/R outputs from the 5.1 source instead of a stereo downmix.

Yes, I saw that in the other thread. Makes sense, I guess. I have never seen, but it would be interesting to see, all the info that gets passed back and forth during the HDMI handshake.
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post #30 of 35 Old 03-10-2010, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

Yes, I saw that in the other thread. Makes sense, I guess. I have never seen, but it would be interesting to see, all the info that gets passed back and forth during the HDMI handshake.


This 276 page HDMI 1.3a document
might be a good starting point...

[Home Office system schematic]
"My AV systems were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many speakers. And they have . . . A PLAN."

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